Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 November 2016
Dear Commissioner Ady Macauley
I’m writing on behalf of the Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI), to respectfully request that the Anti-Corruption Commission Sierra Leone (ACC-SL) begin an investigation into the Sierra Leone Parliament, for some potentially illegal practices and misappropriation of public and donors fund.
As a fully registered Sierra Leonean Civil Society Organisation, we are empowered to make this request pursuant to section 79 of the Anti-corruption Act of 2008, which states that the ACC should cultivate a sense of nationalism and patriotism, so that loyalty to the State shall override sectional, ethnic, tribal or other loyalties, protect and preserve public property and prevent the misappropriation of and squandering of funds belonging to the Government, local authorities or public corporations.
We in CHRDI regard the ongoing efforts made by the ACC in fighting corruption as laudable and we owe a sense of duty to Sierra Leone to assist the ACC, so that it can strengthen the application of anti-corruption laws and policies, and enhance the weak capacities of the major institutions in charge of fighting corruption.
We believe these are the key drivers of our failure to develop as a nation, to function properly and be accountable. Mr. Commissioner Macauley, we would like to take this opportunity to bring the following to your notice.
Sir, between, 2011 and 2016, funding was provided to Parliament by the following donor organisations, and we think little has been reported on how they were expended:
Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) Project. Capacity building for the Parliament of Sierra Leone (National Parliaments and Parliamentary Institutions). Project start date: 2012; Project end date: 2016. Project Amount: $2, 000, 000 (two million US dollars).
UNDP Support to Sierra Leone Parliament. Funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the country consolidated fund account.Project start date: 1 January 2008; Project end date: 31 December 2016. Project amount: $1,692,603 (one million, six hundred and ninety-two thousand, six hundred and three US Dollars) for 2011 to 2015.
We are also aware that a total amount of LE 41,683,667,028 (almost Forty Two Billion Leones) was received by Members of Parliament between 2011 and 2016 for Community facilitation and community development, and no proper account has been given as to how those funds were utilised.
We think it is important that the Commission looks into the utilisation of these funds, as we believe there is evidence of alleged misappropriation of government and donor funds and other breaches of relevant laws. (Photo: Ruling APC party majority leader in parliament – Ibrahim Bundu).
Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) is a rights-based social policy advocacy organisation.
We Draw attention to the responsibility of duty-bearers to uphold human rights, and seek to support rights-holders to claim their rights.
CHRDI is in Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and accredited to many UN Agencies.
I extend my thanks in anticipation of your valued co-operation and assistance in this matter.
Abdul M Fatoma
Chief Executive – CHRDI
COPY: UNDP, DFID, Irish Aid, GTZ
Good friends, these are good thoughts indeed. However, before the ACC intervenes in this matter, there is need for the outlined projects to be first audited.
Were these projects already audited? I doubt it, because some of them are ending this year and we are still in 2016. A project can only be audited when its implementation is completed.
Are we sure that the implementation of these projects have already been concluded? The ACC can only intervene when the audits find some wrongdoing. I think that CHRDI should first call for the audit Report before calling in the ACC.
Campaign for Human Rights and Development International’s repeated demand for the Anti Corruption Commission, to investigate Sierra Leone’s parliamentarians for perceived corruption practices in their duty delivery to the nation and the people they represent, seems to be falling on deaf ears and treated with levity.
But the good will and righteousness of CHRDI stance will in the end triumph over the deliberate intent of safeguarding the wrong deeds of politicians.
The legitimate demand of this civil society calling for accountability on the legislative institution in their duty to the society, good will people should join CHRDI to require the Anti Corruption Commission to act accordingly on the issue.
There should be no abating on the stance against corruption and bad governance in the country anymore. Sierra Leoneans should not keep quiet and watch with indifference the selfish and dishonest behaviours of our governors.
The vibration of our collective call should be felt on the ears of those concerned to address the issue.
This is the best we can do against the ongoing suffering of the populace. Poor governance is the root cause of poverty and the country’s backwardness.
Asking the ACC to investigate the Parliament of Sierra Leone is a laudable feat. Sadly, there is a better chance of hell freezing than have these rogues investigated. This is like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas. It will never happen,though I wish it does. Symbiosis comes to mind.